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Paul Pogba in contention for Manchester United captaincy despite Real Madrid speculation

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has looked to squash speculation surrounding Paul Pogba's future, suggesting there may be an agenda against the Red Devils star.

Paul Pogba is still under consideration for the Manchester United captaincy despite admitting that he was ready to leave the club.

The Red Devils are on the lookout for a new club captain after Antonio Valencia was released at the end of last season.

Injury restricted the Ecuador international to just nine appearances in all competitions last campaign, with Ashley Young regularly taking the armband in his absence.

Young again led the team out for their first pre-season game of the summer against Perth Glory in Australia on Saturday, though manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says a permanent skipper will not be appointed until after their final pre-season friendly against AC Milan on August 3.

Pogba captained United on occasions last season but would be seen as a surprise contender for the permanent role given he admitted earlier this summer that he was ready for “new challenge”.

That immediately sparked speculation of a big-money move away from Old Trafford, with Real Madrid and former club Juventus reportedly leading the chase for the France World Cup winner.

Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola only furthered those rumours by adding that he is “in the process” of ensuring the 26-year-old will leave Manchester United before the start of the new season.

When asked whether a decision had been made about a new captain, Solskjaer told reporters: “No, it hasn’t, So we’ve got quite a few possibilities there and when the season starts we’ll announce, of course we’ll have a good assessment, see how pre-season goes.

“But, as you saw, Ashley will wear it when he’s playing until we decide on someone, yeah.”

When asked whether Pogba would be among the contenders, the Norwegian added: “Yeah. I don’t think that needs explaining, we’ll discuss that later on.”

Pogba was given a mixed reception from the crowd at the Optus Stadium in Western Australia, where played the second 45 minutes for United against A-League side Perth Glory.

Marcus Rashford’s 60th-minute strike and a late second from James Garner secured victory for the Red Devils.

They take on Championship side Leeds at the same venue in their second pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

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